It is not often a thousand dollar swing is seen in prices for a figurine, especially for collectibles in mint quality with no defects which would cause a dramatic reduction in price.
But this is practically what we have seen with Lladro’s Romeo and Juliet piece. It probably has more to do with great selling than anything. It did make us want to put the spotlight on this particular Lladro piece.
Romeo and Juliet is of course the famous tragedy by William Shakespeare. Virtually everyone is familiar with the story of the two young lovers from feuding families (the Montague and Capulet clans) who end up mistakenly taking their own lives.
In this figurine Romeo and Juliet are shown sharing a moment. They are close, but not kissing or being intimate. Here is a closer view of the two:
Naturally, they are depicted wearing clothes from the Renaissance.
One of the more fragile parts of the figurine is the rose. In the piece it is the focal point in middle. At the same time, it is not overly the focal point. It is a small rose almost easy to overlook.
Here is a closeup view of what it should look like:
Although the flower itself does not have a significant part in the story, it is mentioned in a famous line when Juliet says “…that which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.”
The oft-repeated saying refers to the fact it does not matter Romeo is from the “wrong” family, as a name is irrelevant to who a person is.
Here, Antonio Ruiz, who designed the piece for Lladro, is making use of these reference to draw meaning to the figurine.
Another fragile piece is the small sword that Romeo carries at this side:
At the end of Shakespeare’s drama, Juliet “poisons” herself to avoid being married to Count Paris. Instead of poison, it is really a coma inducing drug so others will think she is dead, but the idea is she will later wake up to join Romeo. Unfortunately, Romeo believes she has died and takes the real poison to end his life. When Juliet awakens she finds Romeo dead, with the poison all gone. She then takes his dagger and commits suicide.
With the prominent use of the dagger at Romeo’s side Llado again, in a subtle way uses a recognized part of the story to weave into its figurine.
There you are. Romeo and Juliet is not simply a figurine showing the two young lovers. Lladro has made use of the rose and prominent placement of Romeo’s dagger to refer to important parts of the story.
It is a contemplative scene between the two. Little do they know they mistakes and misunderstandings will lead to the unnecessary death of the them both.